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The FDR Roosevelt Presidential Library was built under the direction of FDR himself in order to preserve the records of the 32nd president of the United States. Roosevelt had been a collector his whole life, believed he would only serve two terms when he broke ground for the library and wanted to insure public access to his presidential collections. Dedicated in 1941, it is managed by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Because of the precedent set by FDR’s library, Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act in 1955 in order to preserve the papers of future presidents for the public. FDR’s is the first of 13 Presidential Libraries.
The land for the library was donated by FDR and his mother Sara Roosevelt. It sits on 16 acres within the Hyde Park estate and the FDR National Historic Site. FDR used a room in the library as his office.
The museum has sections for Roosevelt’s early life and family history, his four presidential campaigns and the different eras spanned by his terms. There are also displays devoted to Eleanor, the First Lady.
There are many interactive displays and videos…you could spend the whole day here if you stopped to press all the buttons, read all of the displays and watch the clips. But I wanted to see the three NPS sites in Hyde Park that day, so I had to take a more abbreviated tour through the library.
Hyde Park posts:
- FDR Presidential Library
- Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Coming Soon)
- Gardens at Bellefield (Coming Soon)
- Home of FDR National Historic Site (Coming Soon)
- Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site (Coming Soon)
Location: 4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538
Designation: Presidential Library
Date designated or established: 6/30/1941
Date of my visit: 10/3/2018